Genesis 1:27 – So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
It is Valentine’s Day today – a day mixed here in the US with the release of a decidedly (in my opinion) non-Valentine’s Day movie – Fifty Shades of Grey. I have not read the books (nor do I plan to) and I do not plan on seeing the movie. I have seen the trailer (during the Super Bowl while my kids were watching thank you very much NBC – a quick pause and mute happened on the TiVo when it came on to enable us to skip it) and that’s about all I feel I need to see. I have appreciated all the reflections on Facebook and other sites about the underlying message that is within the film of abuse and control by the main male character to the female lead. Some of the more significant reflections upon the film if you would like to read them (and I highly recommend doing so)
The last one is particularly striking to me considering this distribution seen on IMDB.com’s user ratings of the film – Granted the overall scores are not very good (3.3 overall), but note the gender and age differences in the ratings
Overall, females rate it a 5.9 vs 2.1 for men and the highest rating comes from females under 18? Now, there’s no guarantee that everyone who has rated the film has seen it (and granted no one under 18 should be allowed to see it since its rated R, but that’s another discussion). However, if there’s some truth to this, what message is being heard here?
For me, this is not a grey issue. It is a black and white issue, a cut-and-dried issue of the foundational aspect of how we were created. Genesis 1:27 says that humankind was created in the image of God – male and female created in the image of God. For me, that’s the message for me with relationships on this Valentine’s Day – abuse, control, deceit, immorality – all things that 50 Shades seems to promote – go against the way that we are called to see one another, whether in a romantic or a platonic relationships. In each of us, when we see each other, we should see the image (imago) of God within them. This should guide how we treat, love, care, serve, live.